New Archbishop of Canterbury urged by Hindus to promote interfaith

Congratulating Right Reverend Justin Welby, 57, on his confirmation as the new 105th Archbishop of Canterbury in a legal ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in London today, Hindus hope that he would promote interfaith dialogue in the world.

Welby, a former oil executive, will assume the Church of England’s most senior position at a Canterbury Cathedral enthronement ceremony on March 21 next, replacing Dr. Rowan Douglas Williams, 62, who retired in December after ten years of service.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Welby to pioneer interfaith dialogue working together with various world religions and denominations on issues facing the humanity, as serious and honest interfaith dialogue was the need of the hour. This dialogue might also help us vanquish the stereotypes, prejudices, caricatures, etc., passed on to us from previous generations, Zed noted.

Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that religion was a complex component of human life and dialogue helped us to see interconnections and interdependencies between religions and even similarities in doctrines. Religions should at least work together on common religious concerns like peace-making and peace-keeping, social and economic development, freedom and human rights, Zed added.

About 1.7 million people take part in a Church of England (headquartered in London) service each month, 12 million people visit its cathedrals annually and it has over 19,500 licensed ministers. Her Majesty the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.

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